Rwanda’s Home Grown Solution: A Proof Of Thinking
President Kagame participates in Monthly Community Service (Umuganda) with residents of Kicukiro, here in Kigali, June 2015
There is no doubt that thought or thinking is the power behind human development across the ages. It is not thinking parse but positive thinking that transforms lives of People and push nations to their desired end.
It is common wisdom that all normal people think but not all think positively.
Immanuel Kant a Germany philosopher once said “All our knowledge begins with the senses proceeds then to understanding and ends with reason .There is nothing higher than reason”. If I can analogize here, Rwanda did not only sense, but deeply felt a horrific situation that is solely better known and understood, by its own people- the Genocide.
A country in a situation where a million people of its population have been murdered , over three Million have fled the country, National coffers emptied with miserable survivors of the genocide in bushes and marsh lands with no or little help for recovery , the atmosphere only gave a picture of a real failed state. Its recovery looked impossible and to many it was seen as reality.
What was required to avert the situation at the time? Some would tell you courage, resilience or commitment and the like. Yes it is true but one more addition element was thinking and thinking critically. Critical thinking and creative reasoning have played a crucial role in shaping the course of events in the Rwanda of day.
The leadership was able to identify the correct problems of Rwanda and their context. This provided the way to find correct and appropriate solutions.
When we talk of Rwanda’s home grown solutions, some may take it as a mere discourse but by all standards it is a reality in action. By simply citing one sector in the state System-Justice, in the post genocide specifically 1994-95, its handling posed a real dilemma to many. 100,000 suspects for committing genocide in prisons, in a country shattered and with no capacity to handle the cases, by all odds, defeated the convention justice and wisdom.
The adage justice delayed is justice denied was the probable accusation to the post genocide government of Rwanda. Consequently, it would be easy for the proponents of justice and democracy” to name the government of National Unity a fascist regime. Although it was impossible to apply the conventional and classical justice, the pressure on the government to lender justice did not cease to mount.
With all the challenges at the time, the only remedy was to challenge the ordinary way of doing things and go own way .This was a bold decision that required courage. Rwandans need to reflect back and ask themselves what would happen if Gacaca was not put in place. The famously know URUGWIRO retreat that made the road map for the recovery of the country was the benchmark of what transpired in the future.
It all begun with thinking not only critically but also objectively. When the country started taking its up, more and more home grown initiatives have been on the increase, and no doubt the outcome remains evident today. When one hears of national retreat, National dialogue, Ubudehe, Umuganda one Cow per family, one lap top per child, Women improvement, Children conference, Akagoroba Kababyeyi, Name it –Home Grown solutions.
It all started as a way of making a country recover and emerge from oblivion to be normal society. With the home grown initiatives, the country now boasts of incredible development and progress in all fronts–Political, Social and Economic. It is my humble pray that the leadership continues to pump in as many home grown initiatives as possible, which will undoubtedly rise Rwanda to unexpected heights.